Writing TA/Peer Leader

In most high schools (at least in the United States), students learn to write essays by using a formula that begins with a introduction paragraph, a thesis statement at the end of the introduction, three body paragraphs with one piece of evidence per paragraph, and a conclusion. This formula leaves you with the infamous five paragraph essay.

These kinds of essays are acceptable in college, and even expected on things like SATs and AP exams, but in college essays, topics and arguments are often too complicated for the five paragraph essay to do them justice. Professors and TAs work hard to get students to move on from the five paragraph essay as early as possible. There is no magic number of paragraphs. The best practice is to simply write your essay without worrying about paragraph count. Of course, if there is a page count, or a word count requirement, you…

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